Ending Preventable and Curable Blindness in South Africa
The OSSA Right to Sight Trust is a registered public benefit organisation dedicated to ending avoidable blindness in South Africa. It was established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA).
Second Sight Project
The Trust’s flagship initiative is the Second Sight Project which enables financially needy patients to access sight saving surgery.
This national project is made possible through the combined efforts of:
- Private ophthalmologists who donate their time and skills
- Private hospitals that give free theatre time
- Medical device companies that sponsor consumables
- Financial donors that give money to pay for consumables
- OSSA Right to Sight that manages, coordinates and fund raises for the project
The project runs all year round with efforts being intensified during annual Eye Care Awareness Week (ECAW) in October. There are currently 85 ophthalmologists who perform regular monthly Second Sight procedures and an average of 110 doctors that support the project during ECAW.
Between March 2016 and February 2019, 1 477 cataract procedures were performed under the Second Sight banner. Based on a conservative estimate of one cataract sufferer impacting the lives of six people, over 10 000 individuals have benefited indirectly through the project.
A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens in the eye (the part of the eye that focuses light and produces clear images). This clouding is caused by a build-up of protein in the lens preventing light from passing clearly through it.
The Second Sight Project is a blindness prevention program that aims to assist people who have been on a public hospital waiting list for an extended period to access basic cataract surgery.
The OSSA Right to Sight Trust encourages ophthalmologists to support the Second Sight Project by including some cataract surgeries for financially needy patients on their private cataract surgery lists.